TVX mining operation sold

The State has sold the assets of mining company TVX Hellas, a subsidiary of Kinross Gold Corp., to foreign and local investors, the Finance Ministry announced yesterday. The decision could revive protests and lawsuits by residents in the northern area of Halkidiki that led TVX to stop its mining operations. Residents had successfully argued in a number of legal actions that the mining operations in the area posed an environmental threat. After the Council of State ruled in favor of the protesters, other residents, including over 500 miners, staged protests, arguing that the mines must be kept open. The government sold 51 percent of the assets to a consortium, European Goldfields, whose main shareholders are Rothschild Australia, Deutsche Bank, Canadian bank Dundee, Royal Bank of Canada and Global Mineral Resources. The State sold the remaining 49 percent to a consortium of local investors led by construction company Aktor. Nine percent will be divided among the Halkidiki Prefecture and the three cities closest to the mines. The State received a total of 11 million euros ($13.4 million) for the assets. The State had acquired the assets from Kinross Gold after TVX abandoned its operations in Greece. Kinross Gold will also pay a total of 11 million euros in compensation to TVX Hellas’ employees. Total compensation will rise to 17.6 million euros. Investors are obliged to relaunch operations within the next three months, and to submit an investment plan for the mine within the next two years. The agreement must be approved by Parliament. (AP, Kathimerini)